The Barter Opportunity

Catherine’s speech on local bartering at the IRTA conference is now available on Google Video:

You have heard me say or write before “in the destruction of the old, let there be the creation of the new.”

Drowning in depressing market news, I flew into Orlando on Monday and drove south for an hour and a half to arrive at the lovely Westgate River Ranch Resort for the 29th annual convention of the International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA) . For an introduction to IRTA’s board and staff, click here.

This morning I gave a keynote address about the current state of the global financial system and why market events should increase demand for local and network barter exchanges and alternative currencies. My speech was sponsored by XO Software, based in Auckland, New Zealand.  Given my love for all things Kiwi, it was an auspicious start. Numerous insightful questions were a great introduction to this unbelievably entreprenurial group of people from all across the United States and around the world.

I then participated on a panel, “Community Currencies & Sustainable Businesses” led by Annette Riggs, founder of Community Connect and one of the leading experts in the US on non-cash transaction models. Both audience and panel were filled with exciting examples of the barter and exchange networks percolating throughout North America, Europe and Asia, including BarterXchange Singapore, the Vermont Sustainable Exchange in Burlington, Vermont, Tradesource in Phoenix, Arizona. Reiner Husemann of EBB-Euro Barter Business in Germany gave an excellent presentation on membership card systems and how they were increasing economic activity for members.

The executive director of IRTA, Ron Whitney, and I had agreed that a portion of my speaking fee would be paid in credits on the IRTA system. Imagine my delight at learning that one of the participants, We Trade Network is in Western Montana, same as Solari’s chief of operations. We do all of our printing in Montana. We Trade Network has three printing companies in their network. This is too perfect for words.

The way to learn something is, of course, to do it. So I am looking forward to seeing what I and Solari can do by joining IRTA and We Trade Network and using barter exchanges to swap goods and services. Meantime, it may be worth checking out what barter networks are in your community and networks and whether they can be of service to you. As the dollar keeps falling, it makes sense to strengthen relationships with people and networks who know how to make things go without cash.

At times like this it is good to remember that there are a lot of exciting things going on in the real economy.


  1. Catherine

    I heard you at 12.45 am on Thurs morn Sept 24 on 1420 am in Trail Creek In

    I have a website and I am a guest poster on The latter blog is where comments and reactions to my plea to not get behind this $700 billion cram-down-bank-bailout not occur.

    At your earliest convenience, just touch base with me sometime.

    John Bougearel

  2. THANK YOU!!!

    THANK YOU!!!

    THANK YOU!!!

    For posting this video, its easily the most
    informative and important CAF video ive ever
    seen. Please keep them coming, im listening.

    With great respect & admiration,


  3. Dear Catherine,

    Thanks to Alex Jones at who posted your article ‘The G20 in English’! I’m so glad to have found you. I’ve been on your site for 4 hours downloading this video and reading from your blog. You are clear, literate, believable, and you have answers that jive with what my husband & I talk about incessantly 24/7. I’ll be circulating this talk to family & friends. Just 2 weeks ago I found Max Keiser, who starts a new show ‘The Oracle” on BBC next Friday the 28th. I’ve done almost nonstop political/economic research for 11 months and find new information/new horrors every couple hours {grin}.

    ‘Financial permaculture’– what a perfect term. It’s exactly what we’re feeling too and what will work. I talked with a two gold brokers yesterday– one said he was worried about the 17 year old kids, that they’ll turn violent with no jobs, etc. I said they might try it for thrills, but I predict they’ll be too freaked out to keep it up, because everything they’ve known will be affected. They may revert to scared children and then, in desperation, gravitate to older, stable people with hands-on skills, tools and common sense. Perhaps new ‘tribes’ will spring up centered around certain skills, or machine and repair shops, or agriculture, etc. I hope you fellow Baby Boomers are preparing to lead the way.

    Or perhaps it will get ugly, like the economic collapse of Argentina:;f=1;t=044387;p=0

    The Soviet collapse had some important differences. The USSR was better prepared…

    But this collapse is not just the US– it’s systemic, worldwide, a planned take-down of the worldwide middle class… not so predictable. We’re employing all the precautions you & others recommend, and we smile more each day for doing so. At first it seemed silly, but as I go back through the articles I saved earlier in the year and see how much has already come true, we realize this is for real.

    I encourage everyone to journal their experiences in some way. These are historic times. A good voice recorder and voice recognition software helps immensely, as you can talk while you drive and download / transcribe while you make supper. Video cameras may be better than guns for protecting your liberties thanks to YouTube. Make sure to get a fireproof safe for those ‘investments’, too.

    Thank you so much!

    Joy B. in AZ

  4. I am building a new versatile bartering system called tubecoin, it allows traders to emit shares which can be used as money both online and offline. Is anyone interested in supporting me or helping me with testing ?


  5. Went to barter at 3 separate and different types of businesses today . The outcomes were different at all 3 . 1 yielded immediate results and the other two were receptive to the idea of bartering but only as a once or twice type situation for the item I had .

    When I go to work I travel to 3 different county’s . I have been keeping an eye out for an item that I know is available in other states but not here . At least I have not seen it . I would like to produce it at home and go back to the business’s i visited with a sample and get their opinion.

      • Ok,

        I can say what I am doing now for product to barter with in my area.
        Apple Molasses and Apple Syrup .I had to make some first to see if it would work.
        I spent the last 3 years bringing very old apple trees back to life but I could see in the future having to many apples.

        Earlier post I mentioned trying bartering . I went in to 3 business’s with a hand made item just to experience the process . I actually traded an item that was worth 5 dollars in materials and couple hours of my time for $30 of their product . That was at the only one of the three business it worked at. On my end I pitched it as worth $45 in order for her to make a profit. Out of the three business’s I can see it also being one I might have opportunity to share the Apple Molasses and Apple Syrup in would be a compliment to some items she already has . I Hope!

        • And if anyone else has lots of apples that they do not know what to do with .

          It is boiled down not pasteurized apple juice. Good substitute for fake maple syrup and great as substitute for sugar in recipes.

          Great day !


          • That sounds good right now . Peach syrup on homemade waffles.

            I am finding more sauces and syrups at stores saying partial genetic engineering involved. Do not want to support that if possible.

            I put bruised apples through a juicer then reduced the juice in the crock pot . Did not add anything .Think the pectin in the apples helped.


  6. Hey Catherine…

    Do you by any chance, have video of this talk… or audio? It’s an excellent “Intro” talk for folks not familiar with your work or your story… I was bummed when Google Video got taken down and it went away.

    Any sort of copy of this anywhere?



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